Here are six native Texas plants you need in your hectic home.
Sometimes we’re so busy making a living, we forget to make room for life! Your home is supposed to be your oasis against the stress of everyday life. Plants offer the perfect relief, especially in Houston’s humid, green environment. NASA research shows that indoor plants remove about 87% of pollutants. Texas A&M scientists proved that the calming influence of plants improves concentration and memory.
Southern Maidenhair Fern
The Southern Maidenhair Fern is one of the top native Texas plants that thrive indoors. Unlike its northern cousin with a fan-like shape, the Southern maidenhair has a lacy pattern. It’s about 6 inches to a foot tall, making it the perfect size for a houseplant.
It’s got a funny name, but this plant has some Texas charm. It’s a small green plant with round-ish or oval, irregularly shaped leaves. It’s also a member of the maidenhair fern family and is sometimes called the brake fern, or its Latin name, Pellaea ovata. It’s native to Texas and parts of Mexico and brings a calming splash of green to your home.
This native Texas wildflower looks beautiful in your garden and inside your home. The coneflower is easy to grow and care for, but does need some room, so make sure to choose a large, deep pot. They’re drought resistant, so you don’t need to worry about watering them often. Place them near a window so they get as much sun as possible. Consider placing the pot on the balcony or patio for a few days every summer, since the butterflies love them. This also gives them a chance to pollinate so they’ll continue to bloom year after year.
Even if you didn’t know the name for it, you’ve no doubt seen the yaupon holly and its red berries. The yaupon is a small tree or shrub so you can expect it to take up more room inside your home. It’s found from Virginia to Florida and all the way to Texas, and it’s pretty slow-growing. You’ll only find the hallmark red berries on female plants, and you need both the male and female plant to produce the berries. If the yaupon seems too big, there are dwarf varieties available.
Texas Mountain Laurel
This beautiful flowering plant goes by several different names — the Texas Mountain Laurel, the Mescal Bean, and the Frijolito. No matter what you call it, this native Texas plant will bring some grace and elegance to your home. It’s lavender and purple blooms actually smell like grape soda. Like the Yaupon Holly, the Texas Mountain Laurel is a small shrub. It’s an evergreen with shiny, dark green leaves and blooms in the early spring. If you have small children or pets, however, be aware that this plant has red, poisonous seeds.
This is another plant with several different names — blood sage, tropical sage, scarlet sage. It is a showy part of the mint family and has striking spikes of small red blossoms. It likes moisture and is native to southeast Texas. The blood sage does not need a lot of sun, which is one reason it’s a good houseplant. The LBJ Wildflower Center notes that it was introduced from Brazil, but now counts as a native plant.
These native plants you need in your home are often easier to grow, although it’s easy to mix them up with other, non-native houseplants that are popular in homes around Texas. You can easily find native plants by asking at your neighborhood garden store. The benefits of greening up your indoor space are well documented — from improving the air quality to helping you find peace and calm.